Yesterday morning, one of the accounts I follow on Instagram posted a picture of a sign that said, "Behind every successful woman is herself." For being such a short statement, it really made me think.
When I first saw it, I loved it. I was all like, “Yeah! #womanpowerwednesday!” and I had even thought about posting it on Instagram myself. Fast forward to later in the day, and I wasn’t so sure if I liked it anymore. After all, in last week’s post about creative community I said that no man is an island, particularly creatives. This message was saying almost the polar opposite, implying that success is a completely individual endeavor.
Thankfully, my mind didn’t stop the thought process there. I dug a little deeper, and the thought I ended with was this: Women, creatives, entrepreneurs, and whoever else are ultimately responsible for their accomplishments. However, that still doesn't mean they do it all alone. When you peek behind the curtain of their achievements you’ll see members of their creative community, friends, family, and significant others because those are the people who encouraged them, brainstormed ideas with them and gave them referrals. If you keep going to the very heart of it though, you’ll find that it’s up to you as the individual to make it or break it. Here’s how:
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1. You are the one with the dream and the work ethic to make that dream become a reality. You can have a whole cheerleading section and people to help strategize your game plan, but you’re the one on the field making the plays, taking the risks and dealing with the consequences, both good and bad.
2. Success is such a personal thing, and each person defines it differently. Only you can determine what you consider a successful venture and then set the goals to get there.
3. At the end of the day it comes down to you, your ambition, and your commitment to being successful in your endeavors.
That being said, even though each individual is responsible for the effort they put forth in striving for success, that doesn't mean you have to make the journey alone. Creativity community is still so, so important! Sharing your goals for the success you're aspiring after will help keep you motivated and excited. When people ask how everything is going, you want to be able to tell them you've made progress. The people around you who are aware of your goals get excited when they hear about your victories; even small ones deserve some sort of celebration!
I recently shared some personal aspirations with one of my dear friends who lives in Colorado. Soon after our phone conversation, she sent me a postcard with a note of encouragement on it. When I saw that waiting in my mailbox, I was so uplifted and my heart got a big hug. You better believe it got hung on my fridge! Seeing that postcard daily reminds me that people are rooting for my success, and that just motivates me even more. Working on big dreams is hard, and the pressure you put on yourself to achieve success can be overwhelming at times. Being able to share your progress with friends not only makes it more exciting, it lightens your load.